The Hanover Wildcats took on the Quivira Heights Thunderbirds in the 8-Man Division II State Championship game at Fischer Field in Newton on Saturday. The Wildcats controlled the game from start to finish and picked up their second straight 8-Man Division II State Title with a 66-36 victory over the Thunderbirds.
Hanover got things started with a one-yard TD run by QB Jerod Diederich and got a two-point conversion to give the Wildcats an early 8-0 lead. However, on the ensuing kickoff, Jacob Ingham of Quivira Heights returned the kick 78 yards to the Hanover one yard line and two plays later, QB Gunner Phelan scored from one yard out and the T-Birds got the two-point conversion to tie the game at 8. That would be as close as Quivira Heights would get though as the Wildcats built a 24-16 lead at the end of the first quarter and outscored the Thunderbirds 20-0 in the second to take a 44-16 lead into the locker room at halftime.
In the third quarter, Quivira Heights outscored Hanover 14-6, cutting the Wildcats’ lead to 20 at the end of the third. Hanover used a 16-6 fourth quarter to pull away and win the game 66-36.
Jerod Diederich led the way for the Wildcats from his QB position, running for 141 yards on 16 carries and 3 TD’s. Jerod also added an interception return for a TD and 50 yards on 4-7 passing and a TD. Trevor Jueneman, who had just 15 yards rushing in the first half, finished with 111 yards rushing and 2 TD’s, while Ethan Diederich had 97 yards on 14 carries and a TD. Taylor Nicholson scored the lone touchdown receiving and finished with three catches for 32 yards.
Quivira Heights came into the game with over 1,900 yards passing and the passing game again paced the Thunderbirds. Gunnar Phelan completed 25 of his 41 pass attempts for 288 yards and four touchdowns, but also threw three interceptions in the game. His favorite target in the game was Jacob Ingham who finished with 201 yards on 15 receptions and 4 TD’s. Tyler Riedel added 59 yards on five catches for the Thunderbirds.